Cross border effects of state health technology regulation

Jill R. Horwitz, Daniel Polsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Certificate of Need (CON) laws, state laws requiring providers to obtain licenses before adopting health-care technology, have been controversial. The effect of CON on technology supply has not been well established. In part this is because analyses have focused on state-level supply effects, which may reflect either the consequence of CON regulation on supply or the cause for its adoption or retention. Instead, we focus on the cross border effects of CON. We compare the number and location of magnetic resonance imaging providers in counties that border states with a different regulatory regime to (1) counties in the interior of states, (2) counties on state borders with the same regulatory regime on both sides, and (3) counties on borders with different regulatory regimes, but with a large river on the border.We find there are 6.4 fewerMRIs permillion people in regulated counties that border counties in unregulated states than in unregulated counties that border regulated counties. This statistically significant finding that regulatory spillover can be sizable should be accounted for in future research on state-based health technology regulation. In addition, it suggests state experiences may not accurately predict the effects of CON if it were implemented nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-123
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Certificate of need
  • MRI
  • Regulation
  • State law
  • Technology
  • Technology licensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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